Friday, August 22, 2008

Our Make-A-Wish Trip!

We left sunday the 9th of August and arrived that night around 8:30 p.m. with someone giving us some beautiful leis. It was so nice to be there and smell the ocean and feel the air. Monday we woke up and Marcus didn't feel well, headaches, nausea and completely worn out. We figured once again that it was the medicine along with jet lag. So we let him sleep all day, that night he started vomiting by morning, he had double vision. Tuesday we spent the day at the ER in Honolulu. They did a CT scan at first and found something in the back of his head, so they did an MRI. Sure enough, they found another tumor. After calls, and emails of scans to the Dr.'s here in Utah, we were able to put him on some steroids.
Wednesday, he woke up feeling better and we were able to go spend a few hours at Pearl Harbor. He was able to go on the tour and do the USS Arizona Memorial, which is what he really wanted to do. By noon he was so tired, so we went back to the Hotel and crashed. That evening he went out to the beach for the first time since we arrived and played in the water with his brothers.
Thursday, he went on his Helicopter Tour with John and really enjoyed that, but didn't feel much like doing anything else. We did go out to have dinner with our friends the Sasaki's. It was good to see them and another part of the island. We haven't seen them since we moved from Flagstaff 4 1/2 years ago, so it was fun catching up. We also got to see the Temple, which was all lit up and beautiful, of course.
Friday, we all went to the zoo, but by the time we got to the gate, Marcus was feeling too sick. So I took him back to the hotel (just around the corner). The funniest thing was before we realized we were right by the Zoo, we woke up to the sound of monkeys!! We were on the 23rd floor and couldn't figure out why we were hearing monkeys on the beach, in the big city of Waikiki. Marcus and Aaron would stand out on our lanai and call back to them. He still wasn't up to going on the submarine ride, so John took the other boys and had a good time. We did go out to dinner that night and look at some of the nice shops around town.
Saturday he slept and rested while we went out and bought some souvenirs. That evening we flew out around 10:30 PM. The plane trip was uneventful, landed in LA OK and then got to Salt Lake around 10:25 am. We had just grabbed our luggage and we were waiting for John to bring the car around, when Marcus started complaining of a severe headache. It got worse and worse. So by 11:05 he was admitted into Primary Children's expecting surgery to relieve pressure from his "new tumor". They did another MRI to see if there was fluid building up in his brain, but this wasn't the case. The surgeon sat me down and showed me there was "tumor" growing everywhere!
Monday morning our Dr. took us down to look at the MRI's from the 29th of July and the one on the 17th to compare them. We sat with the radiologist while he showed us that within the 2.5 weeks all this new tumor had grown. Not only was it just a spot on the back of his head, but all through the center of his brain, down toward the brain stem, in his meninges (lining of the brain), and lots of different other little spots around his brain. Including right under the spot where they removed his other tumor. We sat with our Mouths wide open... I honestly thought they were going to tell us that there was nothing left they could do, but Dr. Bruggers told us that we could try this new chemo. It is called Avastin, and Irinotecan.
So while we were there, they put in a "port" and began his first treatment yesterday (thursday). After all that we were able to bring him home last night. He has some balance problems and some vision problems, so he is using a walker and wheelchair. He is determined to go back to school on monday, but we will see if that can happen. He is soooo tired from the chemo as well.

So here we are.... at a place we didn't expect to be in this quick, but we are hoping that this chemo can extend his life and give him somewhat good quality of life. Of course we will take a miracle, but we are so thankful for the little ones we have had so far. We will never take those little "tender mercies" (as Stacie so well put it) for granted.

4 comments:

Malie said...

We were so glad that we were able to see you guys. We had soooo much fun catching up. I have been thinking of you guys and wondering how everything is going. I am very sorry to hear about the news with Marcus. We will remember him as well as you and john and the rest of your family in our prayers. Hang in there Karen.

alligood said...

Karen,
I don't know what to say except, I'm so sorry IT is back. My heart just sank as I read your post. I'll pray that this new chemo regimine is successful for Marcus. Do you need any help? I am happy to take your other boys if that is something that would help. I know they don't know me, but I'm certain my house is boy-proof enough for a few more!
-Allison

Amie said...

I will keep Marcus and all of your family in my prayers!

Amie (Tex from Jan 2002 board)

Cyndi said...

Karen, I know you don't know me, but I saw a post on Melanie's blog about your son Marcus. We have similar stories. My younger brother Eduardo had 5 malignant brain tumors when he was 14 years old. They only gave him a few weeks/months to live. Make a Wish foundation made his wish to go to Hawaii, and that was just a blessing. He is now 23 years old. The power of prayer is strong. I will keep Marcus and your family in my thoughts and prayers and I will share your story with all my friends and family so that we can all pray for his health. Please feel free to contact me if there's anythign I can do. skrmom247@aol.com

Cyndi